Grateful Dead Live at Meadowlands Arena on 1989-10-16
This show has been commercially released as Nightfall of Diamonds
source update: DSBD> DAT> WAV> CD-R; via Dave Barrick; 5/00- there may be another version around, possibly reextraction of this- at least 1 track matches the md5 shown here, another track doesn't; listener Jeff Davis reports errors: "some dropouts during the beginning of D1T1, and a dropout around 3:40 of "Space" on Disc 3"; see pub comments for tracking; Update: whole show now released as Nightfall of Diamonds- go buy it
Subject: Nightfall of Diamonds
What I liked about this night was it had
the weight of the deep end of the catalog
but also many of the new tunes
it all fit seamlessly and it sparkled and shined!
One of the best I heard,saw and experienced!!!
Subject: bread crumb
Subject: My First Show
Subject: For those that missed Hampton, kept hearing about it, went to Meadowlands, & got Hampton II
The news that Dark Star had been played at Hampton caused fervor at the time. It also leads some to believe, today, that if it's in the set list, the whole show is accordingly the best-ever; those four connoted notes. Adding to the weight of this show, it was given official release outside of the Dick's Picks series. Regardless, it IS an above-average show (albeit not an '89 top five) and the best of this 5-day run, even if it isn't the one with the most-stellar moments - except for those four notes. If that's what yr after, cool, then it's a great show. The second set has the new-ness song list but the first set has much better playing. It's a bit short for end-of-run (1:06 & 1:17). Meadowlands (which has a 2017 demolition date) saw 16 shows - not counting the 14 across the street in Giants stadium - with '89 being the final one and the longest run (the others were two-day stands). Oct '89 was a fun month to be a Deadhead and tape trader (even if the best '89 shows were the Alpine run), with the 2nd Shoreline run, the Hampton/Warlocks shows, this show, the Spectrum show, Charlotte, and Miami (with the weird dark show and wild Dark Star jams). I recall the excitement and the healthy scene.
First Set. The 4th-ever Picasso Moon is nailed, and because it was arranged with such clunky transitions it rarely got better than this. I saw the first two or three plus many bad ones, and the dump into the chorus almost always stumbled with half the band adding a beat and the rest stripping the upbeat. Here you can tell that if the rhythm section's in the pocket it sails past. Bobby had songs that Jer couldn't necessarily get a piece of, but he quickly found some terrain herein which allows Brent to shoulder from underneath. Also, Jer uses some sort of cool-sounding Slow Attack/Pre-Echo Delay (that's challenging to tighten). Half-Step is strong and eschews the vocal coda for going into a Stranger that itself has a laid-back, lets-throw-this-out-there perfection. Brent has the middle of both sets and renders a strong Never Trust a Woman. Built to Last is less so but they were just starting to get somewhere when they dropped it (a few months later). Memphis Blues Again could lay flat or soar; here they're really riding it, rocking. After a weird tuning jam Let it Grow builds the whole set to a closing explosion of x-factor...then dissolves with a neat segue into a bonus Deal that has Bobby inspired with fills.
Second Set. Starting with a Dawk Staw really enthuses the crowd (hey, I remember my first one, too). The second of the "return era", the previous post-hiatus ones were 10/9/89, 7/13/84 & 12/31/81. It was great, at the time, that it was back (and not a one-off), but there's a bit of a let's-get-it-out-of-the-way vibe compared to the week before, and better ones were soon to come. It has it's own reprise (not a true sandwich) and sets up for a smoker Playin'. Unfortunately, the Uncle John's meat tries hard to trainwreck. When Jer flubs the 2nd verse Bobby loudly sings over the top to cue him for the goddamn-well-I-declare bridge. Then it's Bobby's turn when he mistakes the-same-story-the-crow-told-me for I-live-in-a-silver-mine. But they get it together for an 18 minute jam. Drums>Space is unusually uninspiring and bland for '89 but (as doug the dude contends) it was ballsy for Brent to take everybody into Take You Home. You get the feeling that he was pouring himself into the music, pleading for catharsis, letting it all out through the song, emoting his pathos in a compensatory concession to therapy. Or maybe hindsight lends clarity but, regardless, he's flying without a net and whether this shoe-horns is probably based on your reaction to the song in general and not the sincerity of the moment. The rest is average for '89 and, in keeping with the Hampton Part Deux theme, there's an Attics - for which you really had to be there.
1st Set: B+
2nd Set: C
Overall = 3½ Stars
Picasso Moon - not sure if there's a better version. There probably is.
Feel Like a Stranger - casual aplomb makes it motor stainlessly
Let it Grow>Deal - all cylinders on, a great segue, Bobby searching for slots
Playin' - the excitement of the era's 2nd Dark Star is funneled into the fire
11th 1½ stars [D+, D]
12th 1¼ stars [D-, D+]
14th 2 stars [C+, D]
15th 3 stars [C+, B-]
SOURCES: On Nightfall of Diamonds, which has a super-produced sound, Phil's too light in the mix and the energy is a bit flattened. The excellent hansokolow matrix has that energy, and the Barrick SBD sounds as good or better than NoD to me. The show is often on YouTube, and during the run Weir and Garcia were on Letterman.
Subject: Gives me Chills
I don't care what any purists want to say about Dark Stars after '74 (or 72 or 69 or whatever). It was a special moment never to be forgotten
Subject: My first Dark Star
Subject: Best I ever saw
Subject: A show of discovery and a new face
This tour was special for the boys, Brent was as comfortable as he would ever get with the band, and this fall tour and the following spring tour would show some of his most colorful work.
Just as inspiration works like a spreading force, the band was "feelin'" each other during this time. The two reprises of playin' is a treat, as is the Attics and Bid You Goodnight (all re-introduced this tour) The Dark Star is the first since Hampton and was greeted with just as much excitement. The first set has a interesting song mix, with an unfinished Half-Step sandwiched between an unusual Picasso Moon opener and a Stranger.
To me, the band is displaying the same sort of creative experimentation as in 1970, meshing their old set list ideas with newer arrangements to help further the jam. Sure they're not quite as young and not introducing as many songs, but this Built to Last material combined with the fall and spring 89'-90 tour WAS a peak of creativity. If Brent hadn't od-ed, this would have continued. So its best to just appreciate shows like these to prove as a counter-example for anyone that says 80s dead is burnt out or inspirationless. Good night with new ideas for Jerry and the Boys.
Subject: Best show for me
Subject: THE DAY I WAS BORN
me n bobby both have a pretty damn amazing birthday show if 'ya ask me.
grateful birth 8}
Subject: crazy show
Subject: great show !
this show is HAMPTON #2
Subject: Compact show
Subject: great show !
Subject: great show !
Subject: great show !
Subject: Great Sound
Subject: must have been something in the water.
Subject: My first show...
Subject: Killer show
Subject: same correction, earlier show
I wouldn't try to further sell the Help> Slip sign story, given the swiss cheese-sized holes throughout the rest of your take on the events.
Certainly not a moment to make light of.
Possibly the most essential show of Fall '89.
Subject: Ten Sixteen Eightynine Baby!!!
tape would break i would take apart another tape and transfer the tape to the cassette.
you could hear brent's keys a little clearer in the dub i had.
you should really buy the discs of this show already released by the g.d. to fully apreciate this show without cuts and tapeflips or pops & farts.
this is also the night a fan nammed adam katz was in town to see the show and met up with some state troopers who thought they were bad asses and beat him to death and then heaved him off the overpass.adam was holding a sign that said HELP->SLIP->FRANK in big letters.
it's said that the state troopers were later joking about how they'ed HELPED FRANK SLIP
Subject: Just listen,change the water,buy a new lighter!!!!!!!
Subject: Blazing Show
2nd set is of course mind-melting. Maybe its me, but post-space they seem to get a little worn/tired. Perhaps it was blowing so many minds at the show. Anyway, I prefer this show to 10/09/89 only because the 1st set is so tight and well jammed.
Go buy Nightfall of Diamonds if you haven't already.
Subject: horrible sound
Subject: i missed the first set